tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News October 28, 2012 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT
prevented or repelled after it began. what did the white house know and when? fox news has been on this story from the very beginning. this hour, details you haven't heard. at we enter the final stretch of the race for the white house, which side is closer to the truth? those that argue the terrible tragedy was largely unfor seeable and the president should not be blamed? or those who say we're seeing president obama's foreign policy unraveling right on our tv screens? >> it was supposed to be one of triumphs of president obama's foreign policy. a libya without moammar khadafy. he had been one of the worst sponsors of terrorism. families of 189 americans murdered on pan am flight 183 knew that well. after the 2003 invasion of iraq
he ended his secret nuclear program. >> i for one didn't buy it. i was deeply suspicious that moammar khadafy may be playing us. >> frank gaf ne89 is president of security policy. >> m away away's transformation from rogue even bizarre terrorist sponsor into one of america's most reliable allies is i think going to be seeing by historians as one of more bizarre twists of diplomatic history. >> bret: whatever the case, khadafy was a repressive leader caught by the surprise in the arab spring. world leaders are calling for him to go. >> moammar khadafy, last has lost legitimacy to lead.
>> president obama orders the pentagon to provide air support. one anonymous obama staffer describes the strategy as leading from behind, a characterization the obama administration officially rejected. >> with the libya operation represented was burdensome. >> the united states participated significantly but grand greater responsibility to france, great britain, italy, countries that have greater stake in the outcome. >> bret: april 28th, khadafy stills hold tripoli but rebels hold benghazi. christopher stevens is sent to benghazi. a car bomb explodes in front. hotel. stevens and his team decide it's too dangerous to stay there. in august they settle on a
compound on the west side of the city. >> it was a rented from an owner who had a nice villa and several out buildings as. >> well andrew wood is a 24-year special forces veteran who worked on security for u.s. personnel in libya for six months before the september 11th 2012 benghazi attack. >> there is not a lot of security. it's not a fortress. >> inside the walls are four buildings, one is essentially a large residence with a number of bedrooms in it. another residence has a cantina where the staff eats. just across the way, they have a tactical operations center, filled with security staff, folks and security monitors. finally the barracks a small house by the main gate of the compound. it will house a libyan security force. >> many viewers who traveled around europe and asia probably think one of those heavily guarded fortresses where you go
to get your visa. >> i think the corrected term was embassy property. it wasn't fortified. >> bret: colonel khadafy is captured by rebels in his hometown. with khadafy gone, stevens is named ambassador. he will spend much of his time at the main embassy building in tripoli, but he'll come to benghazi often. they upgrade the physical security at that property. charlene lamb at the stated department. >> we extended the wall to 12 feet with razorer wire. >> a fortified saichb haven is built. you enter through a heavy metal grill. >> tell me about the safe haven? >> bars on windows, you are building a jail cell basically. its delay until you get some
relief to get out of there. >> after the bombing in beirut we created a minimum standard for facilities across the world. >> bret: he serves on a committee on homeland security? >> this facility in benghazi didn't meet the minimum standards and didn't meet the minimum standards for personnel. >> bret: security consists of five diplomatic security special agents and four members of the libyan government security force called the 17th february bring gate. there is more security at the annex now, known to be a c.i.a. facility a mile away. based in tripoli but moving around the country is is a department of defense site security team. february 12th, 2012, lieutenant wood arrives there as the new commander. >> it had 16 members. >> what did they all do?
>> special operations soldiers had extra skills and capability. >> could a team that small make a difference? >> caliber of individuals on the team were the best in the united states inventory. they can make a difference. >> the problem is they are slated to end the tour bie summer's end. the security situation is taking an ominous turn. >> there is an uptick in terror attacks in libya? >> that is true. think the nature of things started to change. when i first got on the ground there was a lot of lawlessness going back and forth. as things progressed, commotion fel down and they seemed to be targeting more towards westerners. >> bret: lib had yeah had just gotten over a civil war.
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. >> bret: we told you that in libya it was a dangerous place. old scores were being settled. in spring of 2012 that would change. americans and allies in libya found themselves increasingly in the crosshairs. >> april 26th a bomb is tossed over the wall of the benghazi compound. june 6th an ide is placed on the compound's north gate. no one is injured in either incident. that is not the case five days later. june 11th, 2012, a convoy
transporting ambassador he isn't hurt. andrew wood was the site team commander in libya. >> clear that was terrorist attack. >> i actually conducted an investigation a couple days afterwards. walked the ground. took photographs. examined the vehicle. they knew what they were doing. it was definitely an assassination attempt by skilled operators. as i could see it, i could they were stronger and we were last on the target list. >> all told there have been 230 security incidents in libya in the last year. ambassador stevens grows more and more worried. he says so in a series of cables sent to washington like this one on june 25th entitled libya's fragile security deteriorates as tribal arrive risen tense ties.
libyan extremists shall targeting international organizations and foreign interests. that is why wood, and eric nordstrom implored the state department to keep woods sst force in the country beyond the scheduled august departure. >> we weren't requesting additional security. we were requesting to keep the security we had. that was being taken away. >> bret: water and to keep your team on the ground, the team that was in place already. >> my team was only a small part. there was state department. >> that stands for mobile security detachment team. >> a lot of those are ex-green beret and ex-navy seals. there were three teams on the ground there. >> august 25th, state decides not to get keep the sst libya
the mst team is reduced, as well. >> why do you think the request was denied? >> i don't know. >> john bolton. >> i think what was motivating the state department was in f we had security that truly been appropriate it would have been admission conditions on the ground in libya were not safe. that would have violated the world view that this had been an administration success. >> bret: august 8th, three days after the state department pulls the heavy security teams from benghazi, ambassador steefx sends another cable about the, quote. violent incidents that dominated the political landscape. he writes, what we have seen are not random crimes of opportunity, but rather targeted and discriminate attacks. less than a week later, lieutenant wood and military site security team would leave. >> how did you feel when you left? >> i didn't like it.
i said as much. my concerns was specifically for benghazi. >> ambassador stevens was a great diplomat. being great diplomat and dynamic place like libya means taking care of lots of different things. >> consul to the libyan government is a former state department official that knew stevens? >> he was concerned about security. he was concerned about some of the developments in libya. he would be in a very careful diplomat and taking noted of all the things that were happening. >> bret: september 11th, 2012, a mob gathers in cairo egypt. they scale the wuamgs and burn the american flag, angry over an obscure video produced in california. there is plenty of action in cairo. all is quiet at the compound in benghazi. still sometime before 6:00 p.m.,
ambassador stevens sends another cable to the state department reporting, quote, growing problems with security in benghazi. growing frustration on part of the residents with libyan police and security forces. these forces, the ambassador writes, are two awake to keep the country secure. few hours later he would be murdered. >> we weren't there. >> if you were, could you have protected ambassador stevens. sometimes in a firefight. >> bret: what exact happened in benghazi? greg palkot has been on the scene. up next, a timeline of heroism and disaster with no details you haven't heard before. in america tay we're running out of a vital resource we need
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>> bret: many of you may have seen greg palkot reporting from benghazi. he started with all the available information from u.s. government briefings and diplomatic cables and other documents contained by fox news. he gained access to that ill-fated compound, pulling it altogether, he reconstructed what happened that night. now, he has new revelations with new information that fills in this troubling story even more. >> reporter: september 11th, 2012, the u.s. ambassador to libya takes a last meeting with the to your t usualish consul general. he escorts them to the main gate. he makes small talk to the guard and goes back to the main
residence building and retires for the night. still no sign of any spontaneous demonstration over the web video obama a would later suggested escalated to a riot. there is information management officer sean smith and four diplomatic security special agents. another agent is at the nearby tactical operation from. some guards at the compound say they could hear up the street explosives going off and people yelling and chanting. >> a mad mob of attackers breaks through here in the gate a weak pointed and then move on here to the understaffed libya militia barracks. they torch it and light up embassy cars around it and then they move on. >> witnesses say the fighters are well armed and organized flying the radical islamic flag. an act in a tactical operation
center sees scores of men pouring into the compound. at this annex, where fox news has confirmed was a c.i.a. insulation, tyrone woods a former navy seal can hear shots being fired in the vicinity of the consulate. they tell fox news jennifer griffin they asked permission from superiors on the scene to assist but are told to stand down. they say it is first two such requests they would make. but the c.i.a. says, quote, no one had any level at the c.i.a. told those not to help those in need. claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. meanwhile, security agents are sounding the alarm, too. >> a diplomatic security agent working in the tacky cal operations center immediately activated dangerous notification system. >> charlene lamb was working in washington and could follow the
events in realtime. >> we also alerted the quick reaction security team nationed stationed nearby. the brigade and embassy in tripoli and diplomatic security center in washington. >> around 10:00 a drone begins to hover over the consulate and gives live pictures back to washington. special agent comes here and gets ambassador stevens from his bedroom and brings him along with sean smith to this room in the safe haven, really besides medicine, a big dark, windowless room. then outside a locked gated and hoped for security. >> he radios others to his whereabouts. it's erupting in gunfire and explosions. >> at this point there are seven americans, three different locations, ambassador stevens and two others in the main residence, two special agents at the second residence and cafeteria and here, two more
agents. attackers all around. >> inside the main residence, attackers come in here and ransack the places and then they go for the locked gated. they look inside. it's dark and they can't see anything. they try the lock and can't open it up. inside an agent has a gun trained on them ready to shoot if need be. but as lieutenant colonel andrew woods say the safe haven is only safe for a short time. >> it's a delay for an aggressor but it has to rely on something. >> that someone might have been his elite site security team but they had been pulled out of the country. they were trapped by diabolical killers who poured diesel fuel around the house, light it and leave. >> bret: when we come back the trapped measures try desperately to escape. thank you.
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>>. >> bret: before the break, greg palkot told you how terrorists overran the compound in benghazi libya. a handful of americans caught by surprise, pinned down in three different locations. three of these men including ambassador chris stevens have locked themselves in a so-called safe haven in one of buildings. attackers can't break in so they set the place ablaze. it's become a fiery jail. in the middle of a shooting gallery. once again from benghazi, here is greg palkot. >> reporter: september 11th, sometime after 10:00 p.m. compound is under heavy attack. this libyan militia member he was there. >> you can't see anything, the explosions. shots going beside you. can't e. i can't even move.
it's like organized attacks. >> reporter: the entire safe haven that takes up half of the first floor of the main residence is black with thick smoke and fumes. steven and smith move to a bathroom that has a window but they try to open it but there is too much smoke. they decide to take their can chance with armed attackers that have taken over the compound. >> this is the window that he crawls out of. stevens and smith do not crawl after him. even though he can barely see and breathe he goes back in, he goes back in and out several times. he can't find them. he is overcome with smoke. >> back at the c.i.a. annex sources tell fox news there is another request to go assist the people in the compound. once again they say they are told to stay put. once again the c.i.a. says it never happened. quote, we